OFA supports the proposed agricultural land use amendment to allow the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to dispose of Crown Land for agriculture as a permitted use in the identified areas between Hearst and Kapuskasing. Opening agricultural lands in the Great Clay Belt will serve to underpin the local economy by providing a source of local food. Local food production reinforces employment in primary agriculture, supports local food processing and the services that farmers and food processing facilities depend on. While investors/speculators have the capital necessary to access large plots of land, clear them and ready them for agricultural production, OFA advocates that the provincial government prioritize Crown Land sales to farmers. OFA agrees that the Crown Land available for disposition for agriculture should be equally accessible to either farmers establishing new agricultural operations in the area, or to existing farmers in that area requiring additional land to expand their agricultural operations. Farmers wishing to acquire land for farming should have easy access to up-to-date soils maps for this region. In addition, OMAFRA should continue to offer a range of agricultural extension services to farmers, combined with provincial government support for businesses that provide farm inputs, direct to farm services (i.e. large animal veterinarians, crop advisors), or transport or process the agricultural products produced on farms in this region. Businesses wishing to provide direct-to-farm services, farm inputs, transportation or processing the farm products grown or raised in this region will need access to natural gas, reliable high-speed internet and affordable electric power. In addition, the province should plan to service agricultural land and farms in the Hearst to Kapuskasing area with natural gas, reliable high-speed internet and affordable electric power.